Note: AssessmentDay is not affiliated with PwC and information on their tests is based on our own research.
About PwC Numerical Reasoning Tests
PwC use numerical reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.
Numerical reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for PwC to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised numerical reasoning test, PwC are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone.
Often PwC will ask applicants to take a numerical test online, which you can take from home. When the numerical test is used early-on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to take a numerical test. This is so that the company can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.
So as a PwC or senior candidate applying for a job at PwC you might feel like the numerical reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that PwC are asking you to complete the numerical test as much for your own benefit; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests such as those used by PwC are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.
PwC Numerical Reasoning Test Questions
Like most numerical tests, the one used by PwC looks at your ability to interpret numerical and graphical data and answer questions which require numerical analysis of the data. The numerical test will be looking at your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit but also work accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. Sometimes you will find that you can make a best guess estimate by deducing that some of the answer options are incorrect. This approach to numerical tests will come with practice, and you will become familiar with the type of numerical tests used by companies such as PwC.
The numerical operations required in standardised numerical tests are of a level which most applicants can achieve. The most common calculations involve addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, percentages and fractions. The difficult aspect comes with carrying out the calculations quickly and accurately within the time limit. You will be allowed a calculator for your numerical test at PwC, so make sure you know how to perform these basic operations. Percentage increases and decreases are the most common questions which catch out candidates.
Why practise Numerical Reasoning Tests?
By practising numerical reasoning tests, you will become familiar with the style of questions and get used to the speed at which you have to work. This will help you perform your best in your numerical test, be it with PwC or any of the many companies which use psychometric testing. If you are surprised or flustered by what is in the PwC numerical test you are not going to perform your best.
The PwC numerical reasoning test will likely form part of a wider series of tests and assessments, to enable the firm to obtain an accurate and thorough understanding of each applicant’s true abilities. Psychometric testing means that gone are the days of a hiring decision being based solely on an interview, which can be subjective and sometimes a poor indicator of how well an applicant will perform in the role. For example when applying to PwC you might be asked to take a verbal reasoning test which measures your ability to understand and reason with written information. PwC will also couple psychometric tests with an interview.
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